2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

The Concept of Artistic Synthesis as Revealed in Richard Wagner's Quixotic Music Dramas and Michel Gondry's Hypnogogic Music Videos
Faith L. Martin
Prof. Shirley McKamie, Faculty Mentor

With the seemingly limitless development of visual and auditory arts in today's technological world, formal aesthetic theories have become more relevant than ever in evaluating the significance of digital creative work. In fact, contemporary artists' attempts to achieve artistic synthesis have precedence in the nineteenth-century efforts of German composer and essayist Richard Wagner. His concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art which he expressed through his powerful music dramas, may be extended to the ideas at work within certain visionary music videos, such as those recently created by French director Michel Gondry. This examination considers several specific examples in an effort to compare and contrast the synthesis present in both Gondry's and Wagner's work, while also investigating the idea of synthesis possessing a pragmatic existence in not only aesthetics, but in human perception.

Keywords: Wagner, Gondry, Gesamtkunstwerk, music drama, visual music, music video, Michel Gondry, Richard Wagner

Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 12-3
Location: OP 2117
Time: 8:30

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